Getting organised?

One of me in SL

This is "me"

Well I hope I’m getting organised – does anyone else think I’m getting more organised – on second thoughts don’t answer that 🙂 The other day I started collecting feedback from students in preparation for some new ideas about supporting student’s IT needs. I’ll let you know more about that in a few weeks. It all made me feel as if things are starting to move in the right direction.

I’m currently preparing for my session with the new research students so I thought I’d write here about some of the stuff we will be talking about. I’ll be drawing on some of my older posts which might seem like cheating but there’s no point in re-writing the information I want to direct the research students to such as the information from the RIN booklet which I wrote about in this post and a few others following. I’m sure some of you other students will find the stuff on those older pages useful too. The first on I’m going to direct you to is Writing, writing writing; contains some useful tips and resources on writing and a post from Networked Researcher blog.

I suppose that one of the biggest hurdles new researchers have to get over is just getting out there, into public view, in the first place. It’s nerve wracking – hoping you’re presenting yourself in the right way, talking about your research but not giving the punch line away, worrying about copyright (doesn’t everyone), trying to find out which social media are the ones that other researchers use – the questions just go on and on. Let me see if I can tackle some of those questions from a Digital Literacy point of view.

Presenting yourself in the right way isn’t too difficult. There are some simple things to remember:

  • Be positive – people like it if you either make them feel good or give them something interesting to think about
  • Be generous – give people things, like links to blog or other resources, be generous with your time and friendliness and be generous with your open mindedness
  • Be sincere – if something annoys you there is nothing wrong in saying so (but don’t be miserable about it), be happy but don’t go over the top (definitely don’t blog/Tweet/etc if you have had an alcoholic drink)
  • Be honest – talk about what you are an expert in, if you are just giving your opinion say so, don’t even hint at confidential things you should not be talking about (people won’t trust you in the future)
  • Be yourself – don’t try to be someone you are not, we all have lots of different personas, pick one of those and stick to it online

Writing online and presenting yourself all takes a little while to get used to so expect to lurk for a while. Follow some really good bloggers such as the Thesis Whisperer. For example look at the this post from that blog – it is all about the transition from being an undergraduate to a postgraduate student. It’s about the Australian education system but a large element of it still applies to us here in the UK – the post doesn’t give you answers but it does help to identify some of the problems you might experience when you first become a postgraduate student. You might even eventually decide to use social media as your research environment like the Networked Researcher did.

Talking of blogs don’t forget your own Graduate Research blog, it contains lots of useful information that is not normally available to you.

Don’t forget most blogs provide the opportunity to comment – make use of this, it is a marvellous way to get started and to practise the “voice” you want to use when you write your own blog. Another way of practising your “voice” is to use Twitter, you will learn how to say something relevent in 140 words 🙂 You also get a chance to meet other research students and some smashing researchers and, of course, there is your own Twitter stream (John-Paul can give you the #tag).

I think that’s enough for now and I really ought to get on with some other work 🙂


About timjohnson
I came through a tortuous path to the role of Adviser in Digital Literacy in the Information and Learning Services Department. In the past I was a: Senior Lecturer in Health Informatics, Senior Lectuer in Midwifery, Midwifery Sister, Staff Midwife, Nurse, Secretary, Bars Manager. I would have liked to be a jeweller and silver smith but of course there is always retirement for that :)

One Response to Getting organised?

  1. Pingback: Socialise and Learn « Digital Literacy @ University of Worcester

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